7 Biscotti Variations
Perfect for dipping in wine or coffee
Now here’s a perfect cookie for dunking in coffee and wine, so it’s a good one for dinner parties and the morning after. To add nuts or anything else, see the list that follows, or try your own stir-ins.
Makes: 3 to 4 dozen
Time: About 1 ¼ hours
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pans
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the baking sheets
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 or 2 tablespoons milk if necessary
1. Heat the oven to 375°F. Use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy; add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until well blended, then add the extract.
2. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the dough a little at a time, beating until just incorporated and adding a little milk if needed to bring the dough together.
3. Butter 2 baking sheets and dust them with flour; invert the sheets and tap them to remove excess flour. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a 2-inch-wide log. Put each log on a baking sheet.
4. Bake until the loaves are golden and beginning to crack on top, about 30 minutes; cool the logs on the sheets for a few minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 250°F. When the loaves are cool enough to handle, use a serrated knife to cut each on a diagonal into ½-inch-thick slices. Put the slices on the sheets, return them to the oven, and leave them there, turning once, until they dry out, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on wire racks. These will keep in an airtight container for up to a week.
Spiced Biscotti: Omit the vanilla. Add 1 teaspoon ground fennel or anise seeds or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon to the dry ingredients.
Nutty Biscotti: Reduce the vanilla to 1/2 teaspoon. At the end of step 3, fold in 3/4 cup chopped toasted almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, or pistachios, or whole pine nuts, into the dough before shaping.
Citrusy Biscotti: Reduce the vanilla to 1/2 teaspoon. Mix 1 teaspoon minced lemon or orange zest into the dry ingredients.
Chocolate-Frosted Biscotti: Reduce the vanilla to 1/2 teaspoon. Melt 8 ounces dark chocolate with 3 tablespoons butter. Spread this mixture onto one flat surface of the biscotti when they are dry. Cool on a wire rack until the chocolate coating is firm.
Ginger Biscotti: Omit the vanilla. At the end of Step 3, fold in about 1/3 cup minced candied ginger.
Fruit Biscotti: At the end of Step 3, fold in about 1/2 cup dried fruit like raisins, cherries, or cranberries, or chopped dried apricots or figs.
Chocolate Chunk Biscotti: At the end of Step 3, fold in about 3/4 cup any chopped chocolate.
— From How to Bake Everything